Farmers' Blog

Field Report

What's New?
Posted 6/19/2011 7:57am by Andre Cantelmo.
  On the farm we continue to plant as the harvest grows everyday. June may be the busiest month of the year with planting, harvesting and tending. Weeds are particularly fond of June and grow like, well, weeds. Some of the major plantings ahead of us are winter squash and pie pumpkins, fall carrots, brussel sprouts, storage cabbage, rutabagas, fall broccoli and cauliflower, storage turnips as well as many sequential plantings of greens, cucumbers and squash.
  For those of you who haven't enjoyed the Hakurei turnips before, you're in for a treat. They are very mild and can be eaten raw with salad or as a snack. The broccoli raab has been delicious sauteed with garlic and olive oil. Some of you may remember the Yukina Savoy from the winter share, still delicious in a salad as we have enjoyed in our home several times lately.
  We're hoping for some new potatoes next week and possibly sugarsnap peas. Strawberries look very lean and will likely not be in the share. Blueberries won't be ready until July 15 or so, but look very good. Broccoli should be available in quantity for the CSA by the end of the month. We'll soon be harvesting from two tomato houses and the other two look better than ever. While weedier than I would like, the garlic looks excellent, especially compared to last year.

  Let us hope for abundant harvests and good eating.   Greg


This weeks share:

              Full                                             Half

     1 Tomato                                      1 Tomato
     1 bunch cilantro                          1 bunch cilantro
     1 head lettuce                            1 head lettuce
     1 garlic scape                             1 garlic scape
     1 bunch beets                            1 bunch or beets OR turnips
     1 bunch turnips
     1 bunch radish

      2 choices                                         1 choice
                                Choose from:
                                 Bok Choi
                                 Swiss chard
                                 Broccoli Raab
                                 Yukina Savoy 1/2lb
                                 Arugula (limited)




Posted 6/4/2011 9:36pm by Andre Cantelmo.

Hello Heron Pond Family

 

This week is the beginning of the 2011 CSA season. Everyone at the farm has been working very hard to get this season started. This week we planted tomatoes and cucumbers in our new high tunnel, we finished planting the leaks and we continued to put in plantings of corn, beans and lettuce. Greg has been busy cultivating and keeping the weeds out of our crops. The garlic looks fantastic and the scapes will be coming soon. The early crops are all looking great. So far we've been able to keep pests away from the crops now we just need some warmer days to give everything the opportunity to grow.

 

Due to the cool, wet weather this spring the crops are off to a slow start but look good in the long run. The first few weeks of the share will be a little light, but the food should start coming in strong before to long. We lost the first greens planting to the weather, but the next one is looking good. This year there have been many reports of high fungal pressure of the strawberries. We do not spray our berries so I was worried that we might have some problems. It turns out they are doing fine and should be in the share next week. Our greenhouse tomatoes are coming along well and will be in the share soon.

 

This weeks share:

 

Lettuce

Beetgreens

Choi

 

Two for the full share. One for the half.

 

Every year we all take some time to get on the same page. Pick ups get mixed up, folks don't show on there day and so on. We will all have to work together to get is right. We will have information sheets at every pick up. Please take the time to look at these sheet, see if all your information is correct. We are looking forward to a great year and are glad to have you with us!

 

Andre

Posted 5/27/2011 10:28am by Andre Cantelmo.

The 2011 Heron Pond Farm CSA season is about to begin! We are all really looking forward to a great season. Although the spring has dealt us a slow start, the crops we have in the ground are looking good and we expect a continuous supply of great food all year. The crew has been working hard everyday to prepare ground and plant crops. We will have a full crop report in a news letter early next week. This email will answer some frequently asked question that will make the start of the pick up season go smoothly.

When is the first pick up?

The first farm stand pick up will be Sunday June 5th. Farm stand pick ups run every day of the week. You selected your pick up day at the time of registration. If you forgot your pick up day you can go to the membership status page of the website at any time to get all the information that goes with your account.

The first Dover and Portsmouth pick ups will be Monday June 6th, and Wednesday June 8th respectively from 3:00 to 7:00 (click on town name for location info). There is a $30 one time fee for off farm pick ups. Our registration program does not let us include it at sign up. We have gone through and added it on to most bills but may have missed a few. This fee helps with site fees, trucking cost, and the extra personal for these off farm locations.

How do pick ups work?

Each location will be set up farm stand style. We do not pre-box shares with our CSA. You will be able to pick out the food you want guided by a pick up list. When you arrive you will be greeted by one of the farmers from Heron Pond. They will help you get signed in and give you a list of the food in the share that week, or it will be on the “share wall.” Feel free to ask the farmers any questions about what is going on at the farm. We try to keep everyone up to date with the goings on.

What happens if I miss my pick up?

This is why you sign in. It allows us to make arrangements for those that miss. If you are a farm stand pick up you can just come another day that same week. Off farm pick ups are bagged and left at your pick up site for 24 hr. After that time they are donated to others. If you have a need that does not fit in with this time frame please call to make arrangements.

It is summer so there will be times when you will be away for your pick up day. The best thing to do is to get a friend or family member to pick up you food that week. If this can not be done we let you get a double share once a summer. Please understand that some of the food may not be available for these make up shares.

How do I know that my share and pick up location are correct?

Please, everyone, look at your membership status. Some credit cards did not go through do to technical difficulty so you may have a balance that you don't know about. Also it is important to be sure that you and your food will be at the same location at the same time. If you are receiving this email then we have you registered. Talk to your friends. If they meant to register and it did not go through we may be able to fit them in but we start in about a week so time is running out.

We are looking forward to a great year. Enjoy the sun while it's out! See you in about a week.

 

Andre

 

 

Posted 4/8/2011 6:07pm by Andre Cantelmo.
On Saturday we will be at Exeter High School from 10:00 to 2:00 along with many other producers of local food and goods. Come and see us!
Posted 4/7/2011 7:36pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Soil has been turned and planting will begin soon! We'll be at full throttle for quite a while now. Greenhouse work continues but early field seeding and transplanting must also be undertaken. Corn,carrots and peas will be sown first, followed by a wide array of greens. Sometime next week we could begin transplanting beets, chard, lettuce, cilantro and bok choi. Yesterday we harvested the overwintered parsnips and they are beautiful!
Here is a rough sketch of the share:

4 lbs potatoes
1 lb parsnips
4-6 onions (they are running a little small)
2 bags of greens

Thank you all for a great winter season and we hope to see everyone this spring!

       Greg
Posted 3/24/2011 5:19pm by Andre Cantelmo.
It might feel like winter this week, but the plants seem to know that spring is here. All of the overwintered greens and vegetable transplants have really grown vigorously this last week. The winter like weather has prevented us from harvesting our overwintered parsnips. However, with spinach and other greens growing well, we've decided to add another pickup in two weeks (April 9-10,11,13). That share will probably include potatoes, parsnips, spinach and other greens. We may have onions available for that share. We'll be sure to send a reminder e-mail, but it will otherwise be a normal pickup situation.

For those of you who have not yet signed up for the summer CSA, please consider doing so soon.

This weeks' share includes:

4 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
8 onions
spinach
chard
mesclun

For those in the area, we'll be at the farmers market in Rollinsford this Saturday from 10-2.

       Greg


 
Posted 3/11/2011 11:52am by Andre Cantelmo.
Still waiting for the snow to melt but we are seeing some earth! We now have three greenhouses open with a fourth to open any day. Onions, shallot, leeks, beets, chard, lettuce, choi, celeriac, several cut flowers and minor crops are now germinating. The kohlrabi in this week's share is the last from the cellar as are the parsnips. We hope that the snow will clear before the last pickup so that we can dig the overwintered bed of parsnips. The deer have taken care of any hope we had for spring kale emerging from the melting snow. As many as 16 deer had a very large salad over the last week. Even our presence in the field couldn't stifle their hunger. I guess everyone has to eat. If only they ate weeds!

Greg

This week's share:
1 bag of mesclun mix
1 bag of yukina savoy
1 bag of spinach
4 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
1 lb parsnips
1 lb kohlrabi
8 onions
Posted 3/10/2011 7:27pm by Andre Cantelmo.
Come and see us at the Exeter Farmer's Market this Saturday from 10-2 at Exeter High School. We'll have lots of root veggies and several kinds of greens. In addition to veggies, you'll also find local meats, eggs, crafts, prepared foods and much more.

We also still have openings for our 2011 summer CSA. Don't miss out on a great season of vegetables, fruits and herbs!
Posted 2/25/2011 6:09pm by Andre Cantelmo.
   The greenhouse season is now fully underway on the farm. Onions, beets, herbs and some cut flowers have been sown. From now on we'll be seeding hundreds of trays a week in preparation for getting onto the fields. Just today Andre picked up our grafted tomato plants for the early greenhouse. We are also finalizing seed orders and plans for the spring. As unpleasant as it might be outside right now, we could be preparing land for planting a month from now!
   We had hoped to have spinach in the share again this week, but it seems to be a little short on magnesium or nitrogen. We are going to correct the situation over the next week so that it will be available for the next share.
   Eat well!    Greg

This weeks share:

4 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
1 lb parsnips
1 lb kohlrabi (approx. hard to get exact)
1 lb rutabaga
8 onions
2 shallots
1 bag yukina savoy
1 bag mesclun mix
Posted 2/21/2011 11:42am by Andre Cantelmo.
Hello Heron Pond Farmers!

It has been awhile since our CSA annual meeting and Greg, myself, and the gang have gone over your suggestions as to the direction of our farm and CSA. Let me first say that I cannot believe the turn out at either of the meetings. It is obvious that we have outgrown the room at South Hampton Town Hall and will need the big room next year. The first ever meeting for our remote pick ups was much bigger than expected with a lot of new folks. This is reflected in our registration numbers which are nearly double what they were this time last year. Thanks to all of you that have registered early. We are getting past the planing stage and into ordering seed and planting in the greenhouse with your help. With the seed orders about to go in, here are some of the changes we all have to look forward to for the 2011 season.

Keeping the share price the same was a high priority for a lot of our shareholders. We have been one of the lowest cost if not the lowest cost CSA for many years. As we build our community through local agriculture we believe that money should not bar our community from eating high quality local food. For our part we have increased the efficiency of the farm to deliver the same food at lower cost. We have also worked with shareholders that need different payment plans to keep buying local food. This year we will also be increasing our effort to provide local food to families in need through our “sponsor a share” program that you will be hearing about soon. In order to keep the share price the same we change some of the offerings to make knew ones possible as well as some of our systems.

You will see more bulk food at your CSA pick ups. Instead of bunching and bagging your greens or beets, Heron Pond Farm will wash and bin these items. At your pick up you will bag them yourself (we will soon have a supply of reusable bags). This will help cut handling cost so we can offer more food.

Wax beans will be gone this year. In their place we will grow Edamame (枝豆?) (EnglishEdamame pronunciation: /ˌɛdəˈmɑːmeɪ/) is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, Hawaii, and Korea. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole. We have dropped radicchio, celery (which never grows well), collards,chicory, escarole, and shell peas. We are also taking a year off from the sweet potatoes to try to learn more about how to grow a great crop of them and to keep the pests away from eating them all.

We will be adding foods to the production line up as well. Some of these you will see right away. Some are perennial crops that will take a year or so to get going and find a spot for. More snow peas, stir fry greens, carrots, beets, late kale, summer lettuce, melons (get the melons right this year!), garlic (will take more then one year to increase supply), early spinach, spaghetti squash, even more Brussels sprouts for winter share, celeriac, early cucumbers, fennel, okra, early potatoes, stone fruit, horse radish, and Jerusalem artichoke. There will also be a better system in place to bring the fresh picked herbs and hot peppers to the off farm pick ups.

The addition of the Haygrove tunnel will mean a better supply of early field tomatoes. We are of course always tweaking the tomato picture. With our super early green houses and field tunnels we have the earliest tomatoes around, and normally put one in the share end of May or the first week of June. We may move that to late June with more quantity. This will put the farm in a more sustainable place both in use of fuel and early income from the markets. We also believe that over all you will get a more usable supply of tomatoes instead of just one a week in the beginning.

Staying connected to the farm is a big deal for all of us. This year we will begin mapping and guiding the farm so all may enjoy a self guided stroll through the woods and fields. At least one farm event, the first annual Heron Pond Farm tomato fest, will bring us all together on the farm this year. You will be invited to help with annual farm chores like garlic harvest. Greg and I will split the duty of putting out the weekly share list and one of us will try to put up more weekly info about what's happing at Heron Pond. We will also be working with local chefs to bring you recipes and new ideas of what to do with your share.

There was much more that was talked about at the meetings. I love the meat and bread add ons that we have this year and it was great to hear from New Roots Farm as well as Life is Sweet bakery. All that came out brought an energy that made both Greg and I ready for another great year. Everyone here at Heron Pond Farm is looking forward to providing you with a unforgettable local food experience.

Thank you all for making us your farmers!

Andre